Animation: How fast can the sun heat a car?

1:30 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Animation: How fast can the sun heat a car?

Lead in text: 
How hot does the inside of a car get, and how fast? Check out this animation from the National Weather Service via the link. According to their information, the inside of a vehicle can reach 100 degrees in 25 minutes - and that's when it's only 73 degrees outside.
  • Source: Noaa
  • | Via: City of St. Louis
The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively transparent to the suns shortwave radiation (yellow in figure below) and are warmed little. This shortwave energy, however, does heat objects it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to more than 200 degrees F.
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